AAA is warning drivers in Colorado and across the U.S. about the danger of drowsy driving after the end of daylight saving time. Though everyone gets to sleep an extra hour, the disruption of sleep patterns can have an adverse effect that lingers for several days afterward. Studies have shown how car accident numbers increase in the days after DST ends.
In this country, on average, there are 328,000 drowsy driving crashes every year, including 6,400 fatal crashes and 109,000 crashes involving injury. The National Sleep Foundation backs this up and states that 50,000 of those crash-related injuries are debilitating.
Most people are aware that drowsy driving is wrong, yet many continue to do it. In AAA’s 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index, 27% of drivers said that at least once in the past 30 days, they had trouble keeping their eyes open behind the wheel. Drowsiness impairs one’s concentration and ability to react quickly in unsafe situations.
Another danger that comes with the end of DST is the increased night driving. Many will be commuting home in the dark, which means driving with less visibility. Even pedestrians and cyclists need to watch out; AAA advises them to cross at intersections, wear reflective clothing, put a light on their bicycle and avoid headphones and other distractions.
When an auto accident case involves drowsy driving, it can pose special challenges for those who wish to file a personal injury claim. The other driver could, after all, try to hide the fact that he or she was drowsy. Victims may want an attorney on their case. Many personal injury attorneys have a network of third parties, including investigators and medical experts, who might help build up a case. Attorneys may handle all the negotiations for a settlement, too.